17 February 2013

17th Feb - The Knife's Silent Shout

Artist – Album: The Knife – Silent Shout
Released:  17th February 2006    
Sounds Like: Eleven shards of ice

Silent Shout’, this album’s title track and curtain raiser, is a builder. At first the listener is treated simply to the thudding bass line, the menacing frozen heartbeat of the tune. At the end of four bars two snatches of the symbol, and the light brushes shuffle in. Another two bars and the bare bass drum is introduced. A short while later the wonderful syncopated synth lead assumes control, whirling about busily like snowflakes in a blizzard. The murky vocals aren’t introduced until more than a minute has elapsed, by which point you’re already hooked. It’s an otherworldly, restrained song, containing danceable beats and effects that you could never imagine being played at your nightclub due to its chilly atmosphere. And it’s the perfect set up for the rest of this frosty collection.

Although there are some more temperate moments – fourth single ‘We Share Our Mothers’ is too lively and busy to not melt some of the ice – these are far outnumbered by the glacial sounds of the likes of ‘The Captain’, ‘Marble House’ and ‘Still Light’. Karin Dreijer’s voice is so adjusted that it no longer sounds human, more like another instrument for the duo to play with to unsettle you.

You probably won’t be surprised to hear me say that the record is not at first easy to warm to. But there’s a reason that it was so highly acclaimed on its release, and was selected by most critics for their end of year (and even end of decade) lists. It might be cold, but it’s also sublimely cool.

Albumaday... rating: 8/10

1.       Silent Shout – 4:53
2.       Neverland – 3:38
3.       The Captain – 6:08
4.       We Share Our Mothers’ Health – 4:11
5.       Na Na Na – 2:27
6.       Marble House – 5:18
7.       Like a Pen – 6:13
8.       From Off to On – 3:58
9.       Forest Families – 4:08
10.   One Hit – 4:27
11.   Still Light – 3:15

Listen to ‘Marble House’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=841r2p_dsJE

Also released on the 17th February:
2004: Chromeo – She’s In Control
Also released on the 17th February:
2009: Beirut – March of the Zapatec

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